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Ontmoetingsplaats (Forum), 1976, Shinkichi Tajiri

Ontmoetingsplaats (Forum) 1976, Shinkichi Tajiri, Breedveld t.h.v. Het Breed 701, Amsterdam-Noord. Foto: Shakuru Tajiri

Address: Breedveld opposite of The Breed 701

This work is called Ontmoetingsplaats (Meeting Place). It is exceptional in the oeuvre of artist Shinkichi Tajiri (1923-2009), which frequently features knots of heavy materials. This object is not just to look at, but a place with a clearly defined use function. With this, Tajiri links up with a new movement in visual art in the 1970s, which aimed to integrate art as fully as possible into everyday life. Works of art had to fulfil a function in people's everyday existence.

In the late 1960s, architect Frans van Gool was commissioned by the City of Amsterdam to design the ‘Plan van Gool’, a concrete housing complex in the vast polder landscape of Amsterdam North. Over 1,100 ‘stacked porch houses in nature’ appeared, in ten flats connected by footbridges, with a gallery on every fourth floor. It became a unique neighbourhood of rhythm in concrete where for more than fifty years many thousands of people lived and resided; from the beginning pioneers who literally gave life to the space, to migrant workers who later came from all directions. Some think the Plan van Gool is hideous, others seek the neighbourhood especially to live there: ‘I am glad there is no colour in the architecture. Colour is created by the trees, plants and people, and not by the architecture,’ says a resident during an audio walk from the website of Museum Amsterdam Noord. The Plan van Gool has many faces and carries a rich history.